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Issue 31 - Islay Whisky Festival, the must for May

Whisky Magazine Issue 31
June 2003


This article is 15 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Islay Whisky Festival, the must for May

Martine Nouet describes the highlights visitors can anticipate at this May's Islay Whisky Festival

A distillery visit a day keeps the blues away in the merry, merry month of May.

For the third year, the Islay Malt and Music Festival is fully ready to welcome crowds of whisky pilgrims from the world over. Growing numbers of enthusiasts have already booked distillery tours and special tastings. The festival has rapidly proved to be one the most awaited and acclaimed in Scotland, with many regulars coming each year. If recognition brings satisfaction to the festival committee, it also entails additional brainstorming, as each distillery has to come up with new ideas to entertain the peat-freaks and music addicts each time.

The lucky ones who will be sailing on malty waters between 24th and 31st May this year mustn't forget to adjust their watches to allow for the Islay time difference: taking time to share a pint with the locals at the pubs, enjoying a stunning sunset on Lochindaal, giving way to the lambs on the road and returning for distillery tours that had sold out earlier. Whisky fun is not confined to inside the distillery walls.

As in previous years, each distillery has a special programme one day in the week with bonus additions here and there. Good news: festival goers will not starve this year. Restaurants will extend their opening hours and a mobile catering van will be on site every day.

Festival diary

Saturday 24th May: Lagavulin day

Lagavulin Distillery workers travel back in time, from 2003 to 1903, in distillery tours all afternoon. Neil Wilson launches...

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